Teachings of Hakim al-Umma Mawlana Ashraf 'Ali Thanawi & his spiritual successors, particularly 'Arifbillah Dr 'Abdul Hayy 'Arifi (may Allah bless them) and Sayyidi Mawlana Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (may Allah preserve him) regarding Tasawwuf
Category Archives: T. Tarbiyet
Contains principle and guidelines on training and disciplining of the morals (ikhlaq) of murid
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) said,
The treatment of spiritual ailments (blameworthy moral characteristics) is not possible without disclosing information about them. Some of them are so hidden and complicated that the one who is seeking the remedy is unaware of them. This is can be seen in books about the path (Sulook) and Moral reformation.
Therefore’ an individual is needed to diagnose and discern about these spiritual ailments. He is the Perfect Spiritual mentor (Shakyh e kamil). Most of the time for a Shaykh e kamil to make a diagnosis it is required that the patient himself informs him about the illness as much as possible and does not hide any information.
This is exactly like the medical Doctor (-patient encounter). Some information for diagnosing the illness he gets from pulse, appearance (physical examination), urine (laboratory test) and for the rest it is necessary that the patient himself gives him information (history).
In this special situation sometimes the (patient’s) nafs dislikes disclosing his spiritual illness to the (spiritual doctor). ………..
However, one should not be ashamed of telling him.
In this world this disclosure is to a single individual, in Here-after everyone will know it.
Here this single disclosure is beneficial in all aspects that it will lead to a cure, whereas the public disclosure in Hereafter will be nothing but explicit humility.
Someone asked him: “How can the Orientalists be refuted?”
Shaykh Mustafa Azami (Allah have mercy on him) advised us not to spend our time refuting the Orientalists.
He said that he had spent all his life refuting them, but their objective was not to find the truth, rather to create wrong comments. After you work on displacing the doubts created by them, they’re not going to apologize and mend their ways. Rather, they’ll manufacture a new falsehood. And so, your life will pass in cleaning up the dirt created by them. You should instead work on putting forward the truth. This was the advice he gave us.
While speaking to us, Hoca (Shaykh Mustafa Azami, Allah have mercy on him) told us that when he was student at Al-Azhar, he once went to get some milk. On the wall of the milk seller’s shop, it was written with calligraphy: “The one who cheats, he is not from one of us.” This is taken from a hadith. But the milk seller was adding water to the milk in front of this hadith on his wall.
Everyone laughed upon hearing this.
But Hoca added, “You all too, when you reach the class five minutes late, when you do not prepare well, when you waste time in empty talk during the class, you too fall to the level of the man adulterating milk with water.” Everyone was taken back upon hearing this. A pin drop silence followed.
Till today, I’ve not forgotten those words. I try to fulfill the rights of the class lesson in its true sense. I remind myself that whenever I go late to class, or if I don’t prepare myself well, I fall to the level of the man mixing milk with water.
Shaikh Ahmed Arqam Balkhi (Allah have mercy on him) narrates that once my inner-self (nafs) insisted that I go and join the battle (jihad). I was surprised. In Quran Allah says that nafs commands to do evil and my nafs was telling me to do something virtuous. How can this be possible?
I confronted the nafs and said that most probably you are sick of staying in solitude and want that I go in the army where people will pay respect to me. However, I am going to fight alone (not join the army). Nafs agreed. I became more suspicious. I told him that I will fight without ammunition and die first. He agreed to it also. I told him many similar things and he agreed to all.
I was perplexed.
I prayed fervently to Allah to show me nafs’ deception.
In a vision (mukashafa) I saw my nafs.
He said that every day you kill me several times by not doing what I command, so if you go for Jihad and are killed instantaneously then it will be easier.
Moreover, no one knows about this daily struggle. It is hidden from all. But if you are killed in battlefield everyone will speak highly about you. All will say Ahmed is a martyr (shaheed).
The deception of nafs are complex and deep. They requires consultation with a mentor (murshid).
Tanveer ul Afaq: Shah Turab Ali Qalandar (Allah have mercy on him)
Qutub Alam Shaikh Abdul Qudoos Al Gangohi (d:1537CE. Allah have mercy on him) said,
O Seeker of Truth! If the path of Islam was as easy (as you think) then everyone would become Shibli and Ibrahim bin Adham (Allah have mercy on them). (In reality) Until and unless you are a (true) Muslim from within you can never be a (real) Muslim from outside.
It is grieving and mournful to see these days that world is full of spiritual mentors (pir) and seekers (mureed) but no one can find a (true) Muslim.
What is mentor-seeker (piri-mureedi) relationship nowadays?
It is all idolatry and self-worship!
May Allah save us all from it. Ameen!
This is in reality my own mournful predicament. I tell it so others can learn from it.
Maktubaat e Qudoosiya, letter #111, page 480 (from Urdu translation by Shaikh Capt. Wahid Baksh Siyal rehmatullah aleh)
Khawaja Azizan Ali Ramitani (Allah have mercy on him) said,
Remember any companion who makes you forget Allah (& His commandments: i.e. what is permissible and what is forbidden?) is your Devil (Shaitan) in human (or gadget etc.) form. He/it works on you openly and is therefore, worst then the (real) Devil who whispers clandestinely.
Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) was replying to the letters of spiritual aspirants.
After reading a letter he addressed those sitting in his office,
One of my friends (Shaikh usually uses this title for those seeking spiritual reformation (islah) under his supervision) is blessed with witnessing of the Holy Prophet (Allah’s blessings & peace be upon him) frequently. Sometimes it is in sleep (dream), other times in a state between sleep and wakefulness and also in wakeful state.
A great blessing indeed!
However, few things must be clear about this phenomenon.
Firstly, it is something beyond one’s volition. It is ghairikhteyari. It is a blessing and one should be excessively thankful to Allah for it. However, it is not a sign of spiritual proximity. One should not consider him/herself spiritually superior to others because of it.
Secondly, if one is blessed with this for a while and then it ceases to exist than also it is not a sign of spiritual decadence.
The only thing that matters in spiritual proximity are an individual’s actions. That is doing good and abstaining from sinful.
This must be explicitly clear.’
Ramadan 1442, post zohar, office, Darul Uloom Karachi
For development and maintenance of reverence of God (taqwa) in our post-Ramadan life sayyidi wa sanadi Shaikh Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) said,
1.Leave sinful activities:
Be strict on holding your lower (nafsani) desires. Make a firm determination. Do not yield to these sinful desires easily. These desires and Satan are our two arch enemies.
2. Change the thought pattern.
The mind is constantly occupied with thoughts. There is no gap or vacuum in this process. These thoughts are either of worldly matters or useless issues or sinful activities. It is essential to intervene and develop a spiritually healthy though pattern. We have to actively think about hereafter, heavens, thankfulness of Allah for the innumerable bounties and blessings bestowed upon us, asking refuge for anticipated calamities, repenting from sinful activities, etc.
3. Adopt pious company
This is the most effective way to achieve the change of thought pattern. It leads to absorption, assimilation and implementation of the Divine teachings in our life. Without the company of the the pious the Deen remains limited to superficial level.
4. Make remembrance of Allah
Set up a daily routine of making remembrance of Allah. There are three categories of remembrance of Allah. First is that it is done with the tongue without presence of mind. Second is when tongue is silent and there is mindfulness. Finally, when both tongue and mind are making the remembrance together. Do not under evaluate even the first category. It is a stepping stone for the rest of the categories. Moreover, with consistency it eventually engulfs the mind also.
Make a daily time table for this. The daily activities done in an organised method creates barakah in time. More things are done in the same period of time. Include in it these four things, recitation of Holy Quran atleast two pages daily, durood, third kalima and istegfar. Fix a specific time for them. In other times recite whatever form of remembrance comes to mind.
The remembrance of Allah (dhikr) is a form of energy and power. It assists in development of determination to fight the lower desires.
5. Make supplication (dua)
Set a specific time for this. Like prior to sleeping, after esha. For few minutes sit and supplicate.
Say, ‘O Allah I want to follow the path You are pleased with. I want to control my thoughts, aspirations and desires as per Your desires. You have repeatedly instructed us in the Holy Quran to do so. How can I do it? I am weak. My determination and effort are feeble. Provide from Your benevolence and mercy the determination, power and motivation so I can control my desires and make them totally subservient to Your commands.’
Make this supplication daily without any gap. It is impossible that Allah will reject this supplication indeed.
29th Ramadan 1432/30th August 2011, Darul Uloom masjid, after duhur bayan.